(Published in The New Sunday Express, on January 27, 2013)
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor, Ameesha Patel and others
Rating: 1 star
If you’ve had the misfortune of watching Race, you’ve already seen Race 2. The story is pretty much – no, wait, exactly – the same, except for minor changes in the cast. Playing RD’s (Anil Kapoor’s) bimbette secretary is Ameesha Patel, as Cherry. The name gives the dialogue-writers – if indeed any were hired – to come up with witticisms like, “I don’t have time to pop your cherry.” We learn his previous secretary, played by Sameera Reddy, has now found happiness with a sheikh. Full points for stereotyping.
Here, too, we have two rich siblings, of whom one is a bad egg. Armaan Malik (John Abraham) and Aleena (Deepika Padukone) own half the world together. And lest any of us forget it, we’re reminded constantly by the characters themselves that everything is about money. And yet, somehow, everybody else trusts them. Thank heavens for negative IQs.
Ranvir Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is back, this time out to avenge the cruellest twist of fate he’s suffered. He hatches a complicated – and very expensive plot – and thanks to the low IQs already mentioned, this plot is put through several more twists and turns, until no one can remember who’s on whose side.
The story is what happens between the loud songs, all of which happen during parties, and all of which look and sound alike. Half the rest of the time is lost in people hitting on each other. And the remaining is spent in long confessions, and hard talk. Inexplicably, there is a long scene that involves male nudity, and even more inexplicably, it appears the one man who was willing to shed his towel was the one least in shape.
Through a daze of mind-numbed stupor, one reflects during the interval that it’s bewildering that films like this actually get made, their sequels are sanctioned, they actually release in theatres, and even more bizarrely, rake in money. While I can understand why Anil Kapoor and Ameesha Patel – well, and maybe Jacqueline Fernandez – have time to act in this film, I wonder what the rest of the star cast is doing in it. Unless they’re there for the booze, of which there is plenty.
It’s hard to make any sense of the plot – there appears to be a lot of fake currency, and a lot of people are good at poker. There are several fast cars, many countries with absolutely no system of background checks on anyone who wants to get into their elite security forces, and numerous gadgets that do all sorts of unbelievable things.
The Verdict: Don’t even bother waiting for it to be screened on television. These are two and a half extremely painful hours you will never get back.